By H.V. Seshadri
Years ago a meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was held in Chennai. It rained and rained cats and dogs during the period and this weather continued unabated for eight to ten days. No matter on which road you looked, you found water flowing like a stream in flood. Some elders went to the extent of saying that they had never witnessed such a cloudburst ever before. Even the Chief Minister had to vacate his residence to seek shelter in a hotel situated on a height. You can imagine what must have been the plight of the poor slum dwellers.
But before the onset of the monsoon, the entire Tamil Nadu state had been engulfed in the vice-like grip of drought. Special trains had been put into operation to bring water to Chennai from River Krishna in Vijayawada.
It was a strange phenomenon that during both the periods of drought and flood, Chennai presented the same sight. With vessels on their heads and under their arms, women could be seen walking long distances and standing in queues to collect water from corporation tankers. It was understandable to see such a scene during the time of drought, but to see a similar sight during a torrential downpour-it was an enigma indeed! The only difference was that during the heavy rains, women had to wade through knee-deep water flowing in torrents. To get water, one had to make way through water. The reason was apparent-the flowing water was not fit for consumption. Its use in daily life meant inviting danger for yourself and your family.
This scene in a way depicts the Hindu society'sstate of mind. There are no people around-this is the refrain in every village, every town and every city. What a strange contradiction is this, that no matter how far you look, you see people and people-but “still there are no men among us,” is the general talk.
This scene is similar to the one in Chennai where as far as the eye could see there was water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Whether it was a government scheme or a welfare project on a personal level, the same lament was heard-we don'thave enough competent people.
This only means that we do not have capable and efficient men for implementing the schemes. Rajiv Gandhi, when he was the Prime Minister, once publicly admitted, “Considering the amount of funds we release from the Central Government for the welfare of the underprivileged, what reaches them is equivalent to 26 paise in a rupee.” He also expressed the desire that at least 30 paise should have reached the downtrodden.
We have Bangladeshi infiltrators who create all kinds of problems by joining hands with the local Muslims. Thousands of educated youth are roaming unemployed in search of employment.
Wherever you go nowadays, you hear the perpetual complaint of conversion of Hindus by the Christian missionaries. Similarly, other such problems are seen in other places. We find that liquor shops have sprung up near many of our colleges and universities. They are spoiling the habits of our children. The land belonging to Hindu temples has been occupied by Muslims and Christians through unlawful means.
The police authorities are afraid to take action against the minorities because the latter have the protection of local political leaders. Many a times fights crop up between the Harijans and other castes over the issue of untouchability. Taking advantage of such a situation, the Muslims and Christians try to lure them to their camp. We have Bangladeshi infiltrators who create all kinds of problems by joining hands with the local Muslims. Thousands of educated youth are roaming unemployed in search of employment-we seek an answer from the Hindu workers to hundreds of such problems. But when they are told, “why don'tyou come forward to help them in whatever way you can,” their stock reply is, “we have no worker to do such work.”
Once a professor of a college asked, at a meeting of the Sangh workers in Karnataka, “Many decades have passed since the Sangh began its activities. Even then, our work to a large extent in making the Hindus come together as a group has not succeeded. What could be the reason?” I asked him, “We shall discuss the unity of the Hindu society in the entire country. Tell us, it has been thirty years since work began in villages and tehsils. How much work has been done to bring the Hindus together in the society so far?” In reply to this question, the professor replied, “We did not have the right people for such work. That is why work could not be done.” I asked him, “Why so? You are there. There must be other Swayamsewaks too; surely they too must be aware of the plight of the Hindu society? Then why don'tyou do something?” The professor had no reply to this; he kept quiet.
The following incident relates to the period when Kanchi'srespected Paramacharya was alive. He had gone to a city in Andhra Pradesh. Some eminent citizens of the area came to pay their respects to him. They narrated their problems to Paramacharyaji thus: “A few days ago Muslims resorted to looting and arson here. They attacked us. They looted our shops and burned them down. Please suggest some way to protect ourselves from them.”
Paramacharya asked them, “Does the Sangh shakha run in your region? If it is there, then why don'tyou join it?” The traders replied hesitatingly, “We used to go earlier. Now we have to devote the entire day to our family, our business; hence we are unable to go to the shakha any longer.” Then Parmacharya replied, “You expect me to come running to protect you with my stick? If you yourself will not stand up to face the attacks on your society, then even God will not come to your protection.” Let'stry to understand this situation. Supposing there are 1,000 or 1,00,000 people in some village, the counting of their number will begin with the first one only. If there is no one to stand up first, then all the subsequent numbers will be zero only.
It is however heartening to note that since the last few years, there has been a change and people are willing to take the first step, in the Hindu society, to reply to this problem. Educated youth from small and big towns as also the young from the villages and tribal areas are coming forward. ?Strength lies in unity? of people-by adopting this sentiment the work culture is being aroused among them.
The demand of the time is to call upon those youth who are progressive enough to come forward to accept this challenge, those who can rise above the happiness and sorrows of their families and those who are willing to go wherever required in the service of the motherland. To fulfill this mission day and night, Bharat Ma is awaiting the arrival of such sons and daughters.